Immigration Blog

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NJ's Legal Presence Requirements Made a Difference in the Fort Dix Plot

View Related Blogs and VideosLast week saw a big win for prosecutors and the FBI with the conviction of three illegal immigrant brothers and two permanent legal residents for the plot to commit a terrorist attack against military personnel at Fort Dix. The convictions for conspiring to kill military personnel (but acquitted of attempted murder) indicate that aggressive pursuit of terrorist plots before they happen can result in convictions. Yet no one is talking about the fact that informants were able to infiltrate the group of five in part because they were able to present the conspirators with something most of them didn’t have – a legal form of U.S. identification.

Numbers from US-VISIT

A look back at the annual report on US-VISIT, the automated entry (and hopefully someday exit) screening program, provides stark reminders of both the value of the program and of how much work still remains to be done. The program is doing a good job finding needles, but is working in only part of the haystack. The incoming Obama administration could establish some credibility on its commitment to homeland security by making the completion of the entry-exit system at land, air and sea ports a top priority. Of note:

Where's the Fence?

A new map (here in pdf) shows progress on the fence along the southern border. You need to blow it up a little to get a better look, but the fence is finished or under construction along almost all the border from the Pacific to El Paso, though in some places it's a vehicle barrier that prevents smuggling vans from crossing but not people from relatively easily hopping over. And I'm not sure if any of the places marked as completed have a "virtual fence" as opposed to an actual one.

US-VISIT Expanding Soon to New Immigrants and Some LPRs

Check another one off Secretary Chertoff’s Bucket List. Soon in the new year, DHS is to begin screening several new categories of aliens, getting another border security enhancement in place before the regime change. Beginning January 17, 2009, all those arriving on immigrant visas, new refugees and asylees, some green card holders, and a few other categories will be enrolled in US-VISIT at the Port of Entry.

"I Absolutely and Entirely Renounce..."

The Ombudsman at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the portion of the old INS that does green cards and citizenship) has a new report out on improving naturalization ceremonies (in pdf here). A lot of it's administrative stuff, but there are a couple of gems about judges who sometimes administer the oath of citizenship. First this:

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